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Reacting swiftly, engineers using tank dozers began filling the hole.Possessing around 500 poorly-trained and equipped men and 500 Ludendorff Bridge and Erpeler Ley tunnel at Erpel (eastern side of the Rhine) – First U. Army men and equipment pour across the Remagen Bridge; two knocked out jeeps in foreground. National Archives and Records Administration As Timmerman and his men began pressing forward, Bratge attempted to destroy the bridge.Unable to halt the Allied offensive, German troops began falling back as the fortifications in the region were penetrated.Though a withdrawal over the Rhine would have been prudent to allow German forces to regroup, Hitler demanded that every foot of territory be contested and that counterattacks be launched to regain what had been lost.Pushing men and tanks across the Rhine, Hoge was able to secure the bridgehead giving the Allies a foothold on the east bank.Dubbed the "Miracle of Remagen," the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge opened the way for Allied troops to drive into the heart of Germany.

Having taken these vantage points, they provided covering fire for Timmerman and his men as they fought across the span.Quickly eliminating this with fire from M26 Pershing tanks, American forces raced forward as they expected the bridge to be blown by the Germans before it could be captured.These thoughts were reinforced when prisoners indicated that it was scheduled to be demolished at PM.In March 1945, with the bulge caused by the German Ardennes offensive effectively reduced, the US 1st Army launched Operation Lumberjack.Designed to reach the west bank of the Rhine, US troops quickly advanced on the cities of Cologne, Bonn, and Remagen.

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